on 25 May 2014
I didn't buy this from Amazon as it was not in stock, however I thought I'd write a review to help anyone looking for info.
So I wanted this for use with Strava on android.
The thing is Strava for android currently only supports "Zephyr" heart rate monitors, however after a lot of searching online I found a "Strava labs" app that you can download (made by Strava to test features before the official play store release) which does support Bluetooth accessories.
(Find the link here: [...] )
After installing the Strava Labs app I logged in, and the app discovered and started reading my heart rate instantly.
The actual monitor works really well, is small, comfy, and seems very accurate.
If you have any questions then just ask.
EDIT: Amazon wont let me post a link, so google "Any plans for Bluetooth Low Energy support in Strava for Android?" to find the STrava forums with links for the Strava Labs app download.
on 10 July 2015
The HRM is a neat narrow capsule held securely to a broad elasticated cloth band by a press-stud on each end. If you're a particularly big unit you might want to bear in mind that the band has limited adjustment - I have a 46" chest and there's a couple of inches of band left so if you're above 48" be prepared to have to haul it round. There are two indicator lights, one to show that there is a bluetooth/ANT+ connection and one to show that your heart beat is being measured. Not sure what use these are unless you're going to stand in front of the mirror, seems easier to me to check your phone. The whole assembly is comfortable in use and very securely held by the strap for cycling and rowing, which is all I've used it for.
Connection to my Sony Xperia Z running Android 5.0.2 was trouble free, but be aware that a firmware update will likely be required before you can use the monitor. Just connect it up and let it do its stuff, preferably in an area with good wi-fi connection. Don't make the mistake that I made and set off on a ride without installing the update, it won't work and will leave you disappointed.
In contrast to some other reviewers I think the Wahoo app is OK, it serves my purposes admirably and I haven't suffered any issues with losing connection or crashing. Download it for free before investing in the hardware to check it out if you have doubts. Calorie counting matches the display on my Waterrower exactly but distances don't match the ones from my wife's Garmin when cycling, not sure whether my phone, the app or the Garmin is at fault. There's plenty of information to allow you to control your heart rate while training indoors, and a nice summary is available after outdoor rides. You could also use a handlebar mount for your phone and use the app to track your route and personal data on the road, but I'd rather concentrate on maintaining my road position and watching the traffic. The monthly summary and historic workout facilities are neat and provide ample data for me. Having said all that I don't use Strava or other fitness apps and have no interest in sharing my data with other folk, so maybe the app falls down there.
The only thing that approaches a concern for me is that the Bluetooth signal only rarely shows more than one bar, although as I haven't had a problem it's perhaps nothing to worry about.
Overall, no complaints, it does exactly what I expected
on 26 June 2014
This nicely packaged heart-rate monitor runs off a replaceable 3V coin cell, and was really very easy to set-up. The quick start guide tells you only to go to the Apple or Android app store and download the Wahoo app (which is free). Once you’ve done this, the app leads you through switching on Bluetooth and connecting the TICKR monitor to your smartphone. In my case it spotted that the firmware in the unit was old, and allowed me to upgrade it via the app and the iPhone’s internet connection.
The TICKR itself is about 70x40mm with two LEDs visible on the front, and a clip-on adjustable strap (which contains the sensors). The Blue LED tells you that Bluetooth communication is happening, and the red flashes with your heart-beats (not that you’re likely to be staring down at your chest during a workout). The unit has no on-off switch, but activates automatically with your heart beat, and connects to the smartphone app.
Wahoo’s own app allows you to record your workouts, but as a long-time user of Endomondo, I was quite happy that this is also compatible. Once the iPhone is configured to connect to the TICKR, Endomondo (and several other apps) can then also see it, and you can add live heart rate information to your workout. In Endomondo this appears as another graph overlay, so you can see the full heartrate history across your workout, and compare it with speed, altitude and so on.
Note that you need a phone that has Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy), which is not available on iPhones older than the 4S. The TICKR can support a subset of Android phones also (BT 4 capable), such as the Samsung S3, S4. A full list is available on the Wahoo website.
I briefly connected the TICKR to a Samsung S4, and this also worked fine. I downloaded the Wahoo fitness app from the Google Play store, and it was pretty easy to switch Bluetooth on, detect the TICKR device and start recording heart data.
I haven’t done any power tests yet, but it seems that it could be pretty demanding on battery with some of these fitness apps. During a workout you will be using GPS, 3G data and Bluetooth, not to mention the screen when you look at the maps and statistics, so I think better be ready to give the phone a charge on return from a long run or ride.
Overall, I'm happy with it. It's really much better than the older proprietary radio device I had before.
on 14 June 2016
And so I take delivery of my 5th Wahoo TICKR in 6 years, the previous ones having stopped working. Two were free replacements, thank you Wahoo, and two I paid for again, since I couldn't be bothered to go to all the trouble of finding the receipts, boxes, trip to the post office etc.
When it arrived, the unit itself wouldn't fit onto the strap, since the female bits at the ends of the strap were too small. I suppose a bit of fiddling with a screwdriver blade of just the right width might force the little bars inside the hole sideways sufficient to accept the 'button' on the unit itself but why should I have to do this?
The moral of the story is twofold. We live in an electronic age in which circuits are small and fragile and just stop working after a while, unlike the big macho electrical fittings sparking away in Frankenstein's lab. You're not buying the heart monitoring service, you're renting it. Second, the people at Wahoo have become just too dam' idle to do proper quality control on their products. (I've noticed the same with some other manufacturers with well established brands. Their accountants listen to the cash registers going *ka-ching* while their engineers fiddle away on some new product without bothering too much about the old.) Where's the person running the show who should CARE?
A word of advice: keep the strap from the old monitor when you order a replacement, free or paid for. Other than that, it's a good enough product and unless someone out there writes in enthusiastically about a different one, I'm sticking with TICKR, grrr.
on 27 April 2016
This is the second one of these I've ordered - I loved the first one so much but the strap got manky after 12months of use and started to fall to bits (unfortunately you can't buy the replacement straps from Amazon). It's easy to set up with intuitive apps that sync with a range of health apps.
However the second one I purchased has a slightly different design on the strap and the press-studs on the strap malfunctioned on the first use.
The result was the studs popped open with the slightest movement and the HRM fell off. Very disappointing and I hope a one off - I've returned for a replacement - review to follow
on 2 April 2016
Bought this on a friends recommendation and it is a great heart rate monitor for the money. Easy to use, syncs with no bother, doesn’t need to stay in range of phone during workouts, and comes with an easy to use app which gives accurate information regarding your workout. This is the first chest heart rate monitor I have owned and I have had no difficulty using this and have no complaints about function at all.
I use the monitor during workouts and find it is better at tracking heart rate and calories then my wrist activity tracker. However, my main use for this monitor is to take HRV readings and track heart coherence which wrist monitors are not able to do yet. Along with an app I purchased for around £7, this monitor is able to function the same as HRV and heart coherence products which retail from £140 upwards, so I feel I have done well for my money.
I initially worried that I wouldn’t like the chest strap as I have mainly used wrist band products in the past but have found it hassle free to use and wish I had got this sooner rather. My only complaint is that the adjustment clips on the strap dig into my ribs if I wear the monitor during workouts where I do mat work and I have needed to buy another brands strap with a different fastening mechanism to resolve this.
Still 5 stars though because I am really pleased with the product and would recommend.
on 19 July 2016
This device looks very promising and paired easily with my ANT+ Garmin watch. However, the pop studs on the end of the HR strap were incredibly weak. Meaning that as soon as you put it on.. it falls off. Other than that I'm sure it works just fine as an HR belt, it seemed to function okay if I stood still and didn't breathe for long enough to register a pulse before it fell off again.
If you want to buy this device (and it looks like a good design, other than this), get it from a bricks and mortar shop and NOT from Amazon as clearly they have a basic quality problem with the product. Without actually checking that the HR belt studs are strong enough in person before you hand over your cash, you might just get the exact same example that I'm returning (if you buy it on line), and that previous customers have returned before (see earlier reviews). A great shame as other than this.. it looks good!
on 13 July 2016
Performs well while running. Quick to pair via Bluetooth with an iPhone 6, and is compatible with apps like Strava. Only small issue is that it's difficult to adjust while running (strap poppers ping open), but if you can avoid fiddling once it's on, it stays in place well and gives good readings despite the running movement.
A while ago I was a regular user of Polar heart rate monitors for training on Concept II rowing machines. They tended to be rather unreliable in the signal, and seemingly any radio interference (including the presence of others people's HRMs, although later models were coded reducing the chance of conflict) would make a mess of reception. The advantage of this model using Bluetooth is the pairing between specific devices and the frequency shifting reducing radio interference, giving a reliable signal.
The strap is easily adjusted and is easily fitted to the body, attaching to the monitor itself by poppers. The old Polars were rather more fiddly than this. One negative though is that the strap of this model soaks up an awful lot of sweat, more than the Polar straps ever did - this strap is fairly drenched after a workout (the strap has a label on it indicating that it can be machine washed, but since, unlike the Polar, the contacts are affixed to the strap, I'm not sure I would want to do that). Unlike the Polar, there is no need to wet the contacts. The front has a red LED which flashes to indicate that the heartbeat is being picked up, and a blue LED to indicate that the Bluetooth connection is enabled.
Pairing with an HTC One Mini 2 (Android 4.3 is the minimum version required) was quick and painless using the free accompanying app downloadable from Google Play. The update rate is quick and the rate varies smoothly - I haven't seen any step changes happen as would sometimes happen with the Polar, though this may well just be a better smoothing algorithm. The numbers are fairly consistent, to a couple of BPM, with the gym machine readouts based on the handle contacts, at least when the often flaky machine readouts work, which gives some confidence in those machine readings, at least up to around 155 BPM but on going a bit higher they seem to diverge a bit more with the gym machines going higher than this HRM.
The app has three workout types - running, cycling (both of which make use of GPS) and indoor cycling - with the latter it's not clear to me how this is supposed to get distance and cadence data, though this is not important to me. This app type overreads calories massively - giving a figure of 900 when having done around 600. The heart rate data recorded is an average and max for the recording period. I would really have liked to see graphs to see the variation across time.
I like this for its reliable accurate figures. The app could be better, and the post workout wet strap is a bit of an annoyance.
on 25 January 2016
It's just as unreliable as the other Wahoo sensors. It seems to work about 90% of the time when I'm working out, but when I first put it on and try to record resting heart rate, it often sits at an absurdly low value (e.g., 36) even though my true heart rate is closer to 60. I have to take it off, re-apply saline, and put it on again 2-3 times before it finally starts to show reasonable values.
The thing also goes through batteries like CRAZY. A single battery lasts maybe six weeks before it needs replacing. I've started taking the battery out between uses in a desperate attempt to avoid buying CR2032 battries by the gross.